“The glue that holds all relationships together- including the relationship between the leader and the followers is trust, and trust based on integrity, leadership by example and industrious capability” – Godwin Obaseki
The above statement is aptly defined the political intention of Godwin Obaseki, the man on the path towards making Edo State cornerstone of infrastructural growth, employment hub of the South-South geopolitical zone and improvement on the quality of lives of the people of the state. As the people of Edo State go to the poll to renew their democratic right to choose who is capable of moving the state to the next level, it is imperative to introduce a proud son of the soil, raised in the spirit of servitude, a steadfast advocate of people empowerment through insightful deployment of man, money and machine.
In the documentary account of the history of illustrious sons and daughters of Edo State whose exploits in various areas of callings, Obaseki’s stride is outstanding on a personal development and contribution to the economic fabric of Edo state significantly and Nigeria in general. No doubt, his privileged yet humble background was a factor in the path he desired. He is a gentleman of valour, courage, determination and preparedness. These qualities ooze through his public personae as he systematically pursues his political aspiration of leading Edo State to a greater height in its development.
Godwin Obaseki Born in Benin City to the legendary and well-known lineage of the Obaseki clan. The Obaseki family is one whose contributions to the country’s industrial, cultural, scholarly and economic firmament can’t be deflated. According to him, his humble beginning made him a quiet quintessential achiever in all areas of his socio-economic paths. He began today’s path from St. Mattews Anglican Primary School, to Eghosa Anglican Grammar School both in Benin City. The norms and values of Christian ways of life were ingrained into his socialization periods. He then proceeded to the prestigious University of Ibadan where he obtained Bachelor of Arts in Classics.
Not one willing to rest on his modest academic achievement, he went on to attend Columbia University and Pace University and acquired Master in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance and International Business. It is clear from his humble beginning that Godwin Obaseki was made for a purpose. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers, an alumnus of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Program and Global Leader for Tomorrow Nominee by the World Economic Forum in 2001. No surprise his enduring accomplishments speak volume of a personae on greater callings coming from a life accomplishment filled with passionate service, leadership preparedness, unalloyed reverence to God and exemplary private and public career devoted to nation building.
His private career is dogged with unmatched qualities of exemplary leadership, team building spirit, industrious transparency, compassion and respect to everyone with except to none. His over 30 years of good judgment in private business underscores unblemished record of selflessness, daring courage, competency and a firm believer in starting small as a potent path to growing big.
In his words “ With 30 years, I have established a reference point in the investment banking, asset management, securities trading and public sector economic vibrancy knowledge both at the international and in Nigeria. It was a journey that began in 1983 when I joined Capital Trust Brokers Limited as a stock broker. This is where my knowledge of capital, asset and securities components of economic activities was nurtured”.
From Capital Trust Brokers, he worked briefly with International Merchant Bank and in 1988 he joined AVC Funds Limited where he functioned as a project manager in what was recorded as a landmark in the history of Nigeria banking sector. He engineered the setting up of 2 new generation banks in the country. Thereafter he proceeded to the USA to garner international expertise in structured trade finance through credit, financial advisory, and risk insurance as emerging economic model for African countries between 1993 and 1995.
Filled with unequal assurance and positive drive to contribute his quota and succeed in the business of business finance, securities, mutual fund and consolidated fund management, he established Afrinvest West Africa Limited, formerly known as Securities Transaction Trust Company Limited, in 1995. A firm he built from humble beginning to what is globally recognized as Afrinvest West Africa Limited, a leading independent investment banking firm with a focus on West Africa and active in four principal areas: investment banking, securities trading, asset management, and investment research. To him, Afrinvest Limited was founded to provide world-class financial solutions, uncover investment opportunities and create wealth for its clients across public and private sectors of Nigeria. In more than two decades of existence, the firm under the incisive management by Godwin Obaseki has become a household name in the estimation of private or public sector drive towards economic growth and development.
According to the official statement from the company, its contributions to the economic growth of the country is an experience that has empowered unwavering efficiency in building strong relationships with investors and market leaders, and the wider general public. The penchant for accomplishments attracts the most vibrant and pioneering ventures in their sectors, ensuring them maximum exposure to contemporary consultations. Among its array of clients are Zenith Bank, GTB Plc, Access Bank, First Bank among other big players in the banking sector of the economy. On the real sector, the firm is one of the success story and partner in progressive stride and huge economic contribution of Dangote Industries Limited to Nigeria and Africa.
Afrinvest West Africa Limited as an enabler of public sector development has worked with Niger State to raise a bond to the tune 9Billion Naira, Lagos State ( 92.5Billion Naira), Asset Management Company of Nigeria AMCON ( over 1Trillion Naira), Kogi State ( 5Billion Naira) among other notable public sector participants. This without contradiction is a statement to the savvy in a business decision, uprightness, shrewd and clever expertise in the business of raise capital for capital development of many states in Nigeria. This is the enduring hallmark of Afrinvest Limited and Godwin Obaseki.
The firm pioneered the path opened to a Nigerian Bank to raise 50Million US$ from the international capital market through the issuance of Global Depository Shares (GDS). The firm has advised the continent economic players on how the continent can leverage on Eurobond and other juicy securities floated by foreign companies and foreign governments through global depository receipts to Nigerian companies. Notable among the benefactors of this unique opportunities is Dangote Industries Nigeria Limited, GTBank Plc among others.
He is currently the chairman of the Board of Directors of the firm which won the Best Asset Management Firm in Nigeria in 2014 by the Wealth and Finance International Magazine Finance Award. This is an award that celebrates excellence in its purest form. The award was given to the firm in recognition of its contribution to Africa development. It was an honour that recognizes and honours individuals and organizations in the international finance industry that make a significant difference and add value. It is an award that will herald the highest standards of innovation and performance. The Award shines a spotlight on those who make a contribution to raising the bar in the financial industry through activities of note.
This is Godwin Obaseki in brief. He is a thoroughbred enigma whose next biggest challenge is driving the ship of Edo State to the development unseen in the political firmament of Nigeria. His thirst for innovation, growth and advancement of Edo State in the areas of health, agriculture, and technology, and women empowerment, physical and economic infrastructure among other indexes of economic development is unwavering.
Written By Gbelela Olabisi Michael
A Socio-political blogger lives in Lagos